HOOVER, Ala. (CBS NEWS) — A police officer who mistakenly shot and killed EJ Bradford Jr., a black man, at an Alabama mall will not be charged.
Protesters burned American flags Tuesday night outside City Hall in Hoover. “Black Lives Don’t Matter” was painted on the flags.
The victim’s father, Emantic Bradford Sr. and mother, April Pipkins, told CBS News correspondent Mireya Villarreal they want justice for the death of their son.
“To see and know that they’re justifying shooting my son three times … how is that justifiable?” Pipkins asked.
Newly released surveillance video from the Alabama mall shows the moment shoppers scatter at the sound of gun shots Thanksgiving night. Bradford is then seen running toward the gunfire, holding a licensed handgun of his own. A moment later, a responding Hoover police officer shoots and kills Bradford Jr., believing he was responsible for the mall shooting.
Bradford’s family said he was trying to protect those around him.
“You’ve watched the video?” Villarreal asked.
“I watched it. I didn’t — didn’t like it because it’s murder. My son was going back to help his friend,” Bradford Sr. said.
A 24-page report released by Alabama’s attorney general concludes the unnamed officer who shot Bradford “reasonably exercised” his official duties during the three-second encounter.
The Bradford family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, plans to file a civil suit against the city of Hoover.
“The police officer in less than two seconds made a judgment call that he saw a black man, he saw a gun, he concluded that he’s … a criminal. And he shot [him] in the back,” Crump said.
The city of Hoover never released the officer’s name or information, but they plan to address the report Wednesday. The FBI found no evidence to open up a civil rights investigation into Bradford’s death. Still, his parents are calling for all of the video collected by investigators to be released. They plan to march to the attorney general’s office Wednesday in Montgomery to demand answers.
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